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What Parents Must Know About Neglect and Child Abuse

What Parents Must Know About Neglect and Child Abuse
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Ill-treatment of a child is also referred to as child abuse, which is common everywhere. Knowing the dangers of mistreatment for your child, lowering those risks, and being aware of the signs of neglect and exploitation is crucial.

Each year, reports of child neglect and abuse involving roughly 7 million children total around 4 million incidents. Babies under one-year-old have the highest percentage of child maltreatment, while children under three make up 25% of the victims. In California, 391,546 children ages 0-17 were reported to have been abused or neglected in 2020.

Neglect is the primary issue in cases reported to child protection services. Abused children often experience various types of abuse, including neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse.

Statistics on child sexual abuse

As per research, many children are harmed by sexual abuse. Additionally, other risk factors could raise the possibility of child sexual abuse.

One in four females and one in every 13 boys report being sexually abused as children.

According to studies, children aged between the ages of 7 and 13 are among the most vulnerable to sexual abuse as children.

Parents or other caregivers who experienced violence as children or who currently battle substance abuse risk that contributes to a cycle of abuse.

Families with only one parent, particularly those in poverty with few support networks, may be more at risk of sexual predators.

What is considered child sexual abuse?

Abuse can take a variety of forms.

  1. Exposing a child, either in person or online, to sexual acts or sexual content
  2. Child pornography creation, ownership, or distribution
  3. Rape
  4. Incest
  5. Child prostitution or sex trafficking
  6. Sexual abuse
  7. Sexual assault (e.g., messaging or calling a minor with obscene content)

It is not required to use physical force or cause physical harm for an act to qualify as sexual abuse of a kid. Legally, as children cannot consent, any sexual act between a kid and an adult that occurs before the child has reached the age of consent is considered sexual abuse.

Symptoms of child sexual abuse

It’s crucial to be aware of the signs that a child may have experienced abuse. There are both behavioral and physical signs.

  • Inappropriate sexual knowledge or conduct.
  • Avoid physical interaction
  • Genital bruising or bleeding
  • Underwear with blood (or torn underwear)
  • Attempts to escape
  • Yeast infections are common.
  • Burning or discomfort in the genital area
  • Self-harm
  • Signs of depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD)
  • Sudden phobia or fear
  • Suicidal thoughts 
  • Trouble while standing or sitting

A child also may start to try and protect their siblings or pals. Taking up a “caretaker” role is what is meant by this. Alternatively, kids might go back to thumb-sucking or other childish habits.

Getting support

Consult your pediatrician or a nearby protective services agency if you believe your child has been harmed. Medical professionals are required by law to alert state authorities to any suspected incidents of abuse or neglect. Talk to a child sexual abuse lawyer and understand your child’s rights.  

The doctor may also give testimony in court if it is necessary to obtain legal rights for the child or pursue criminal charges against the individual suspected of committing the abuse or neglect. 

You might be the only person who can help your abused child. There is no reason to delay the reporting of your abuse suspicions. The situation will only get worse if the issue is denied. It decreases your child’s chances of experiencing the best possible mental and physical health and well-being since it prevents neglect or abuse from continuing unchecked.

The kid’s safety is the main priority in abuse or neglect. They must be in a secure setting, free from further abuse and neglect.

Over to you 

Remember that the most excellent chance of identifying problems early on is through open, two-way conversations with your child. Assure your child that reporting abuse or other perplexing situations, so you won’t result in punishments.

Educate them that they are brave and capable and that they can rely on you to protect them rather than teaching them that danger is all around them.

Featured Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay